Mar 26, 2023

Written By Annika De Lathauwer

The LNAT: Key Components and Approaches for Success

Mar 26, 2023

Written By Annika De Lathauwer

If you are applying to UK universities for undergraduate law degrees, it is likely that you will have to sit the LNAT. At first glance this test may seem daunting, but by following the tips written below, the preparation for this test becomes a lot more manageable.

What is the LNAT?

LNAT stands for the Law National Aptitude Test. It is used by some UK universities (and two international universities) as an entrance exam into their undergraduate law degree programmes. The LNAT tests several key skills that these universities expect in their students. These include:

- Verbal reasoning

- The ability to understand and interpret information

- Reasoning skills

- The ability to draw conclusions from information

- The suitability of an applicant to study law (as opposed to actual knowledge on the subject, which you are not yet expected to have)

Currently, 11 universities require you to take the LNAT as part of your application. These are:

- University of Bristol

- University of Cambridge

- Durham University

- University of Glasgow

- King’s College London

- London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

- University of Oxford

- University College London (UCL)

- SOAS University of London

- Singapore University of Social Science, Singapore

- IE School of Law, Spain

All other UK universities not listed above that offer law as an undergraduate degree option, do not require you to sit the LNAT as part of your application.

Key Components

The LNAT is made up of two parts. The first part is longer and consists of 42 multiple-choice questions. It is made up of 12 passages, which are each followed by three or four multiple-choice questions. The second part is shorter and gives you 45 minutes to write an essay based on one of three prompts.

The score generated from the 42 questions in the first section is your LNAT score. The essay in the second part is not graded but will be sent to your universities for review. It will also be taken into consideration during their selection process.

Approaches for LNAT Success 

Below are listed some tips on the best way to approach the LNAT, so that you feel prepared and are successful in achieving a desired outcome:

1. Begin preparing for the LNAT early on, so that you feel as well prepared as possible when the time comes to sit the real test. This does not have to be mock exams but can instead consist of reading articles to see what sort of writing styles work well, learning the test structure and expectations, and working on time management skills. This will make it easier once more intensive preparation begins, as you will have already built up many of the core skills required.

2. Learn about and practise the different types of questions. This will allow you to identify any sections in the test you may struggle with more than others, allowing you to target your practice. You can find official mock tests online on the LNAT website, which will allow you to understand what the test will look like on the day.

3. Practice time management. Make sure to practise under time conditions, especially in the few weeks leading up to the exam. Try to avoid spending too much time on any tricky questions, as you will probably end up losing out on marks from other questions you did know the answer to, but were unable to get to since you ran out of time. If you do notice that there is little time left in the multiple-choice section, it is better to guess than leave the answers blank, as there is still a chance you may get the answers right.

4. Remain calm. It can seem like an overwhelming experience, but by remaining calm, you will be able to remain more focused, and will therefore perform better overall.

5. Make sure that you are able to clearly articulate and explain your points in the second section, once you have understood how to structure the essay. To gain additional marks, learn how to present points from both sides of the argument, while still being able to show which side your view aligns with the most. Think about different ways to approach the question aside from your initial reaction, so as to provide a unique perspective on the situation.

6. Get feedback, especially on the essay questions. Writing without gaining any feedback will not allow you to understand where improvements could be made in your work, so your grade will not change. Others (teachers, parents or guardians) can provide unique insights, which you may never have come up with yourself, so it is always worth discussing the essays and their topics with others.

7. Study with someone else. Providing you spend time studying as opposed to just chatting, this can be a really great way to motivate yourself to study. It means that you can both ensure that you understand the structure of the exam and how to answer the different question types, as well as talk through differing opinions on topics that may come up in the exam.